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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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The buildIT studio uses a MakerBot 3-D printer. The buildIT studio uses a MakerBot 3-D printer.

buildIT Inspires Creative Thought

The SDSU Library provides new and innovative opportunities with its new 3-D studio, buildIT.
By Kristin Riemedio

A cell phone case and an artificial hand; what do these things have in common? They are just two of the many objects you can create using a 3-D printer. San Diego State University’s library now has its own, which is available to students, faculty and staff to use at no cost.

“The goal is to have a high-end workstation to encourage innovation, collaboration and learning more about technology through hands-on use,” said Mark Figueroa, the library’s director of technologies and digital initiatives.

Think it, create it

The 3-D studio is called buildIT and is run by master builders, who are student volunteers that have been trained by STEM Librarian Jenny Wong-Welch. These students work in the studio to assist anyone who wants to make something using the 3D printer, even those without experience.

Community members who are interested in learning about 3-D printing, but are not sure how to get started are encouraged to visit the buildIT space whether or not they have an idea or concept in mind.

“We want to foster creativity and innovation by providing an infrastructure for student-motivated do-it-yourself learning of technology,” Wong-Welch said. “It’s your space. We ask you what you want and we tell you how we can make it happen.”

Since the opening of the studio on Feb. 9, the buildIT team has hosted workshops aimed to teach about 3-D printers, their capabilities and how to use them. Attendees get hands-on experience on how a 3-D printer works, how to best use it, and tips and tricks.

“We don’t want to lecture you with information. You’re going to walk away with something,” Wong-Welch said. “What we say here in the studio is ‘imagine it, design it, build it, repeat.’”

The next workshop takes place at 4 p.m. on March 11 in the buildIT studio, and will be focused on teaching attendees about 3D scanning.

What’s next?

“The space is focused on providing students the opportunity to experience emerging technology,” Wong-Welch said.

The library also aims to use the buildIT studio for more than just 3D printing. Other technologies available for use include Google Glass and Google Cardboard.

“So many students come into the library using all types of electronic devices,” said Figueroa. “We want to be at the forefront of promoting these devices for learning.”

The 3-D studio is located in Room G of the library’s 24/7 Study Area. It’s open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Fridays. Visit for more information.